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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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  #1  
Old 10-16-2010, 07:20 PM
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Default The wonderful world of J-frames!

I was musing today on the fact that in spite of the spate of new concealed-carry semiautos, a whole lot of people still cling to the tried-and-true S&W J-frame revolvers for self-protection. Total reliability combined with ease of carry and minimal maintenance make for a near perfect combination.

I just did an inventory of my Js. I thought I'd share them with you, together with my thoughts on how best to employ each. Here goes:

First, we'll start with the little lightweight Model 317, which accepts 8 rounds of .22 LR. I pack this one in an ankle holster when my mode of dress will not permit anything heavier. It's one of a few J-frames that does not feel like an anchor on my ankle when I move around a lot. For those who feel this is not adequate self-protection, I can only ask if you would like to get shot in the face with 8 rounds of anything!




This Model 60 is equipped with a unique set of grips - the old Bianchi "Lightnings." These grips turn the Models 60, 36, etc. into shrouded hammer guns that can be pulled without fear of snagging. They do increase the weight and bulk somewhat, so I find this number best in a shoulder holster with a covering jacket. The molded rubber grips give a good solid feel and excellent recoil reduction. No longer made, but you can occasionally find them at gun shows.



This Model 442 is equipped with Barami Hip-grips, and is my most-often-used concealment piece. I simply slip it in my right front Levi's pocket; the tab on the right grip keeps it from sliding down in the pocket so I can grab it easily. It's covered by a tail-out shirt easily. As this gun is black, I use it most often during the day so an adversary will see it for deterrent effect immediately.



If there is a chance that a longer shot might have to be taken, either a Model 49 or 649 should do the trick. With a shrouded hammer, they can be fired either double- or single-action. The nickeled 49 is for inside-the-pants-holster wear, while the 649 is equipped with Hip-grips; no holster required.




The Model 642 is used (with Hip-grips) at night, for the exact same reason I use the 442 during the day. The gun will be readily apparent to an opponent when drawn.




As much as I like the Hip-grips, I do find the grips themselves a bit skinny for best grasping. That's why I use grip adapters with them. An alternative is presented here. This is a Model 640 with the excellent Herrett's Shooting Star grips I had ordered to fit my hand years ago. I think they are tops for the J-frames. In order to use this gun without a holster, I've attached a "Clipdraw" device to allow it to be stuffed into my waistband or pocket. Works pretty well, but holds the gun higher than I'm used to with the Hip-grip.



For the purists, this is a "back to the future" J-frame. It's a nickeled Model 40-1, incorporating the grip safety of the original Model 40, but designed for +P ammo. It's strictly a holster gun as presently set up. Look, ma! No ugly hole for a "safety!"



As you can see, I'm a great fan of the J-frames. You may have similar set-ups that you favor. Bring 'em on!

John
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  #2  
Old 10-16-2010, 07:30 PM
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I'm also a big fan of the j-frames. In fact, I think they are just peachy.


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Old 10-16-2010, 07:32 PM
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Since I sold my models 34 and 42 I'm down to only one J.
It's a 60-15 and yes, it has the IL. Polishing the lock and MIM hammer/trigger with Flitz really improves the looks. The gun has been 100 percent reliable and very accurate at ten yards. This is my home protection gun.

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Old 10-16-2010, 08:48 PM
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Beautiful J's! I own three; M&P 360, 637 and 638 which I change out from time to time. My most often carried is the 638 in a IWB appendix carry, mostly for comfort. As a retiree my mode of dress is jeans and a T shirt not tucked in. If I need to dress more formally I go w/pocket carry in either the 638 or M&P 360 if weight is a real issue. I'd post pics but have not mastered the digitil thing yet (old dog - new tricks . . .)
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:44 PM
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I love J frames too. I have had these for years, I got the new SC TI in 357 too but no pix yet.

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Old 10-17-2010, 12:11 AM
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My $200 Model 36 has become my most carried gun. Smaller than the Glock 23 which had been my #1. I don't feel at all lacking in firepower with this one. My plan is to aim and make them count.

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Old 10-17-2010, 12:58 AM
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I've had very mixed results with the clipdraw system. I had good luck with on a 649, but less successful was use on (variously) a 442, 36, and 438. In one case, my 36 fell from where I had it concealed on the panel carrier of my armor and hit the floor in Walmart. Oops. The 649 did stay put when carried thus.

Anyway...

I currently have a relatively recent 637 with the hammer bobbed and the lock deactivated. I also have a similar 638 with the shrouded barrel, that one still has a clipdraw on it. Then I have a 36, also with the clipdraw fitted, that wears stag grips. I traded a Charter .44 revolver for it and think I got the better deal. It's an old SB gun.

Then I have my 31-1 with a 3" tube in .32 SW long. Interesting little gun.

Then there's my sub J frame SW, an old topbreak from just over a century ago that I cut down into a snub. It does wear J frame grips.

Gone by the way side over the years - a 317, 337, Model 60, 432, 442, and a couple different 36s.

I tend to keep a drawer full of .38s around, though currently my stock is low.
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:13 PM
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Default I only have ten J frame's

I have a 30-1, two 31-1's, two 36's, a 60, a 63, a 317 AirLite, a 331TI, and a 650. I keep an eye out for more, constantly.
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Old 10-17-2010, 11:25 PM
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Here's everyday carry. 337 ti w/bobbed hammer


Here's a showdog collection I bought from S&W's law enforcement sales mgr. S&W pre production sample mod 042 serial # xxx0000. Performance Center Lew Horton carry comp 357, serial # xxx0000. 640-1 early run .357 xxx0044. 640 .38 sp early run xxx0044.
Also is a 686 CS-1 3" factory prototype salesmen sample absolutely unfired from the factory. Not even the every other charge hole test shots. Never fired and the box is marked released to the sales mgr's name. 44 mag with an Artic Cote finish and a NAA switchblade 22.lr round out the pic.

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Old 10-17-2010, 11:57 PM
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Thumbs up Handy little Smith

I like this J-frame very much.......It is teamed up with an original Jack *** highride holster

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Old 10-18-2010, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nostraDONus View Post
My $200 Model 36 has become my most carried gun. Smaller than the Glock 23 which had been my #1. I don't feel at all lacking in firepower with this one. My plan is to aim and make them count.


Okay, someone has to ask...what happened to mar the barrel?

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Old 10-18-2010, 05:35 PM
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Nice collection. You cannot beat any of the J's for comfort, convienience and absolute reliability. I have three: M&P 360, 637 and 638. In addition, I still have the Colt Cobra I purchased in 1968 as my first off duty weapon. The latter stays in the safe most of the time but still shoots great.
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:24 PM
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When I run the mobile range I practice with my jay at 15 feet....all quick point shooting...flash sight picture if any at all...can pretty much keep all 5 center mass with either hand...that's enough to make me feel comfortable carrying it...
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:47 PM
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Long live the snub nose. 642 with my newly acquired T-Grip.
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:58 PM
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Some sexy lookin ladies here...
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:44 PM
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What's up with the barrel on the 640 with the clipdraw?
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:41 AM
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I've always had at least one Chiefs Special on hand for the last
40+ years & when I carry it's the one I carry most often.
Here's a nice Bodyguard with some S.D. Myres holsters.
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Old 10-19-2010, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
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What's up with the barrel on the 640 with the clipdraw?
Dunno. Not a particularly sharp stamping and not a particularly good photo. Here's a closeup of that barrel - perhaps a little clearer.

John

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Old 10-19-2010, 06:26 PM
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I carry a M60 1 7/8 inch and also an identical M36.

I wouldn't trade these guns for anything. Carry them everyday and have plenty of others that I could....but I don't....because the J frame just fits the bill.
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
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Dunno. Not a particularly sharp stamping and not a particularly good photo. Here's a closeup of that barrel - perhaps a little clearer.

John
Yeah I guess it's not the clearest stamp! It came out fine in the second pic though.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:34 PM
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We need to keep this thread going....it's over a year old with no posts. There's something about a J-Frame that just feels right in the jacket pocket. I picked this Model 36 up at the gun show today. It's as close to a 100% gun that I have found. The grips are serial numbered to the gun. It was manufactured 1966-1969. Owner had fired 5 rounds out of it and kept it in his bedside table. Sadly, no box or papers.

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Old 11-26-2011, 09:13 PM
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Very nice texagun. I've owned a whole bunch of J frames and not a one has had the square butt frame. I need to give one of those a try...
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:28 PM
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Only have 3 J Frames, but they are nice shooting and nice looking little critters.

Model 34-1 (1975)
Model 63 (1981)
Model 36 (1981)














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Old 11-26-2011, 10:22 PM
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[IMG][/IMG]

Just one so far, I am working toward adding a M&P 340.
Great photo's people, gives me all kinds of ideas for the future.
Frank.
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:36 PM
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My 442 rides many miles on my left ankle at work. Pocket companion on my days off.


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Old 11-26-2011, 11:47 PM
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I have 39 J Frames. Sixteen are bodyguards. These are my favorite carry guns.
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:26 AM
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the S&W revolver i practice with the most.............my model 649 no dash.

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Old 11-27-2011, 12:48 AM
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Got my first J frame a month ago. It's a 36-0 and I really like this little shooter. Have three K frames but this little J really grows on a guy. I'd post a photo but it's pretty much a nondescript run of the mill blued 36. Ya all know what they look like.
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:30 AM
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My favorite J-frame 38s. A 3in Mod.36 and a 2in Mod.37. The 3in was bought from a local police chief. Is a 3in a 'snub'. Unfortunately both are square butt guns and not much choice in concealable grips , though I like the Hogues on the 36. Have the same on my Mod.63 Kit Gun. The Pachmayr Compacs really make the lightweight 37 pleasant to shoot even with +Ps.

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Old 11-27-2011, 12:07 PM
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My wife and I both have J frames - the 642 is my EDC and the 442 is my wives. They are perfect for their intended purpose. The 686 was in the picture I already had so I left it in there for good measure :-)
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:27 PM
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My EDC is a Model 60 but I enjoy shooting all kinds of j frames...

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Old 11-27-2011, 03:01 PM
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There's a lot to love in the J's.
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Old 11-27-2011, 03:23 PM
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Bill your J sure is pretty. I wouldn't want to touch it, no less shoot it for fear of ruining that engraving.
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Old 11-27-2011, 03:37 PM
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DRYHEAT(Bill)

Nice J frame!! Can you provide some details?

Thank You
Carl
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Old 11-27-2011, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by DRYHEAT View Post
There's a lot to love in the J's.
Oh my! That is just too pretty!
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  #36  
Old 11-27-2011, 04:01 PM
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Thanks all for the nice comments. I bought this M60 as a present for my 60th birthday, 4 years ago. I sent it to S&W's Performance Center to have the stainless mirror polished. I then sent it to Wayne D'Angelo (master engraver for both S&W and Colt) to have him make it into ART.

I do not have any safe queens. This one has had more than 300 rounds down its short tube in the last 4 years. I just spend more time cleaning it up afterwards!

It is quite a good shooter too.
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Old 11-27-2011, 04:32 PM
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I have been carrying this model 60 for over 30 years, and it is still one of my favorite carry pieces.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:16 PM
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What a great thread! Let's keep it going. Here are mine:

My little pocket rocket. Bought it new in 1974, and its still my favorite carry piece:


Then this one came along. Surprisingly accurate shooter. Was surprised how much heavier than the M60 it is:


Recently, the LGS owner whom I help with firearms ID asked me to look at an "old S&W". He gave me first shot at it for $335. This was a good gig while it lasted. Now, he's gotten interested in the older S&Ws and the nice ones are going into his collection:


And, this week, this 3" 36-1. popped up on the "for sale" page here. Couldn't believe my luck being the first to jump on it. Hopefully it will arrive next week. And I love those sambar stag grips!
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  #39  
Old 01-25-2013, 12:10 AM
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Default New (old guy) kid on the block

I need to find out where to post my question about, or maybe find an answer to, my S&W 38 model 36. Lots of threads here so I would guess it's here somewhere.
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:43 AM
JParanee JParanee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRYHEAT View Post
There's a lot to love in the J's.
That is beautiful
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  #41  
Old 01-25-2013, 12:46 AM
JParanee JParanee is offline
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I am a big J Frame Fan

360 PD



With new Big Dot Sight

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Old 01-25-2013, 12:58 AM
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I have owned J frames off and on for years and they have served me well.

I am down to only one right now but it has never let me down.

642 Pro Port


Last edited by tacman605; 01-25-2013 at 03:43 AM.
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  #43  
Old 01-25-2013, 01:25 AM
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You guys got some nice guns.
My edc 442 and my favorite owb holster, for now.
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  #44  
Old 01-25-2013, 12:00 PM
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I carry this 3" J frame in a pocket holster aroud the house or in a Crossbreed IWB out on the town. J frames are about as perfect as it gets in my opinion.

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Old 01-25-2013, 01:25 PM
Alnamvet68 Alnamvet68 is offline
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The wonderful world of J-frames!-360j2-jpg

The wonderful world of J-frames!-mod40classic-jpg

The wonderful world of J-frames!-model_60-jpg

Need to get a pic of my just bought, like one hour ago, 642 no lock. Only thing missing is that freaking 638.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:53 PM
bostonterrier bostonterrier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacman605 View Post
I have owned J frames off and on for years and they have served me well.

I am down to only one right now but it has never let me down.

642 Pro Port

I also have 642 power port just like this with the same color and type grips. Love it. I got 340PD used a few months back, nice but I like my 642. Sweet.

Last edited by bostonterrier; 01-25-2013 at 03:35 PM.
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  #47  
Old 01-25-2013, 04:40 PM
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there's a 642 power port for sale here, it was priced at $450 and i got the man down to $325. no box, safety key or the cable lock. dirty as hell and a few scratches. what do you think of that price?
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  #48  
Old 01-25-2013, 05:24 PM
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With all the carry choices out there, the wife and I went with the two guns at the bottom.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
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there's a 642 power port for sale here, it was priced at $450 and i got the man down to $325. no box, safety key or the cable lock. dirty as hell and a few scratches. what do you think of that price?
Not sure what Power Port stands for. We bought a 442 and a 642, both brand new in the box and paid $345 for one and $355 for the other about 2 years ago. The extra $10 was for an extra set of pink grips that were included with one of them.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:35 PM
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power port is the piece in post 47. there's a hole on the top of the barrel between the end of the barrel and the front sight. it's suppose to cut down on the gun jumping up from the recoil. the barrel is 2 1/8" long to accommodate for the hole.
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317, 327, 442, 637, 640, 649, 686, bodyguard, concealed, glock, j frame, kit gun, lew horton, lock, m60, model 60, myres, pachmayr, performance center, sambar, snubby, snubnose, stag, topbreak

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